Sometimes when a parent gets older and cannot get around as they once did, having them move to a retirement community or even your home is not the best answer. They may prefer to stay in their own house as long as possible and very often a few simple changes and devices can help them to do just that. Consider some tips on how to help an aging parent with mobility issues, so they can keep their independence and stay as safe as possible.
1. Install safety rails all around the house
People often think of installing safety rails in the shower or tub when a parent struggles with mobility, but putting these all around the house can help them to stay safe and independent. You might put them in the hallway so they can lean on the railing as they walk, or install them at the head of the bed so they can use them for standing up in the morning. A railing next to the steps of the porch can also keep them safe even if there is only one step, and they can also be a good choice for a sunken living room or family room and for next to the toilet.
2. Move everything to the main floor of the home
If your parent's house still has the washer and dryer in the basement, call a contractor to install a stackable unit on the ground floor. These can fit in a small closet or in a corner of the kitchen. Put up walls if needed to create a bedroom on the first floor as well, and move their bedroom furniture into this room. By moving everything possible onto the main floor of the home, your aging parent will not need to deal with stairs as often and will be more mobile and safer.
3. Invest in a wheelchair or scooter for the home
Today there are many models of wheelchairs and scooters that are meant for those who are not paralyzed but who simply struggle with mobility issues. They may be very lightweight and meant only for indoor and occasional use. These can help an aging parent to move around more easily in their own home and to do so without pain and discomfort if they have problems with walking alone. Look for a mobility scooter at places like CNY Medical Products Inc with a small body and tight turning radius for use in the home, or a power wheelchair that easily folds up and which they can keep with them next to their favorite recliner or next to the bed.